Oh, Hell No

Via Aravosis, Seymour Hersh has another scoop that, if right, will only further cement his reputation as this generation’s Seymour Hersh.

A day or so back I naively observed:

You can color me shocked if our Iran policy amounts to anything more than a half-assed retread of Iraq ‘02.

Silly me. If I wanted to salvage any hope of credibility I should have said that our Iran policy will amount to a half-assed retread of Iraq ‘02 plus nukes. From Hersh’s piece:

There is a growing conviction among members of the United States military, and in the international community, that President Bush’s ultimate goal in the nuclear confrontation with Iran is regime change.

People who already worry about the president’s growing messiah complex won’t get much encouragement:

A government consultant with close ties to the civilian leadership in the Pentagon said that Bush was “absolutely convinced that Iran is going to get the bomb” if it is not stopped. He said that the President believes that he must do “what no Democrat or Republican, if elected in the future, would have the courage to do,” and “that saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”

We’ve heard this song before, too many times to count. Bush supporters love to use terms like ‘steadfast’ and ‘resolve’ when they talk about their favorite president but they would fall over dead before admitting that those characteristics might have a downside. Ya think? A guy who famously doesn’t study issues very deeply will inevitably make some boneheaded and even dangerous decisions. If ‘resolve’ keeps him from ever revisiting his boneheaded decision then you end up with a net loss for everybody.

You might have wondered what happened to the neocons:

“This is much more than a nuclear issue,” one high-ranking diplomat told me in Vienna. “That’s just a rallying point, and there is still time to fix it. But the Administration believes it cannot be fixed unless they control the hearts and minds of Iran. The real issue is who is going to control the Middle East and its oil in the next ten years.”

A senior Pentagon adviser on the war on terror expressed a similar view. “This White House believes that the only way to solve the problem is to change the power structure in Iran, and that means war.”

Yep, still around. I don’t give a shit what connotational baggage the term neocon has picked up over the years, this is their signature: spin stories about an imminent threat (paging Laurie Mylroie) to sell a war whose real goal is to strengthen America’s global standing. Call it oil or geopolitical influence-building or whatever you want, these guys played the same song once already.

No-shit moments come up frequently:

In recent weeks, the President has quietly initiated a series of talks on plans for Iran with a few key senators and members of Congress, including at least one Democrat [named Lieberman – ed. Just a guess.].

…The House member said that no one in the meetings “is really objecting” to the talk of war. “The people they’re briefing are the same ones who led the charge on Iraq.

They consulted the same Congressmen who led the charge on Iraq, and nobody objected. No shit?

Speaking of President Bush, the House member said, “The most worrisome thing is that this guy has a messianic vision.”

If you’re not worried about a nuclear-armed president with a messiah complex, a medieval concept of metaphysics and an insatiable war itch then you have to be kind of slow.

Speaking of nuclear:

One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites.

…The lack of reliable intelligence leaves military planners, given the goal of totally destroying the sites, little choice but to consider the use of tactical nuclear weapons. “Every other option, in the view of the nuclear weaponeers, would leave a gap.

…Late this winter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought to remove the nuclear option from the evolving war plans for Iran—without success, the former intelligence official said. “The White House said, ‘Why are you challenging this? The option came from you.’”

…The Pentagon adviser on the war on terror confirmed that some in the Administration were looking seriously at this option, which he linked to a resurgence of interest in tactical nuclear weapons among Pentagon civilians and in policy circles. He called it “a juggernaut that has to be stopped.”

Anybody who toys with using offensive nuclear weapons, unprovoked, has simply taken leave of his senses. If we can ‘preempt’ an attack with nuclear weapons, then by what logic can we criticize North Korea for doing the same to us? Because in some metaphysical sense America is ‘good’ and North Korea is ‘evil?’ Baloney. Any leadership willing to inflict collateral nuclear damages on a population that hasn’t attacked them first has an extremely weak claim on metaphysical goodness. The only ‘good’ that a leader like that can claim harkens back to medieval nations of the living saint, the uncorruptable figure whose beatitude makes any action good just by virtue of them doing it. When you think about it, for a president who paints the world in medieval tones of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ and allegedly takes commands from God the concept may not be that much of a stretch.

We have a bipartisan bunch here, so let’s hear what people think about two basic questions. First, do you buy these revelations? Bear in mind that the people who pushed back against Hersh’s Abu Ghraib reoprting were forced to retreat from one trench (nothing bad happened) to the next (if anything bad happened it was only a few bad apples) to the next (Rumsfeld didn’t personally order prisoner abuse) until they had to contort themselves into ridiculous positions in order to avoid giving up entirely (e.g., it isn’t really torture until an organ fails). Seymour Hersh has credibility that his closest parallels on the pro-war side, e.g. Judith Miller or Bob Woodward, don’t.

Second, assume for now that the reporting is accurate and answer whether you’re comfortable to have your major policymakers set themselves on a “crusade” for violent regime change in Iran, most likely employing tactical nuclear weapons. It might sound like a ridiculous question to most, but I expect at least a few to answer in the affirmative.






193 replies
  1. 1
    MattM says:

    We’re totally fucked, aren’t we?

  2. 2
    John says:

    Can you say, President Greg Stillson?

    I’m tired of living in a Stephen King novel.

  3. 3
    Fledermaus says:

    I’m willing to entertain the notion that this is part of a grand bluff to Iran – look how nutty Bush is, he’ll do anything.

    However such a plan would require a disipline and coordination that, given the observations of the last 5 1/2 years, does not exist in this administration.

    However, if it isn’t an attempt to bluff, that leaves us with the only other explanation – the entire administration is batshit insane.

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    What about all the countries we aren’t thinking about nuking? How come Seymour Hersh never write about those?

    Face it: there are 138 countries in the world. We are thinking about nuking three, maybe four, of them. That’s not a very high percentage. That’s less than the percentage of Detroit inner city youths who are murdered or arrested this year.

    So it’s still safer to be an enemy of the United States than to be an inner city youth in Detroit.

  5. 5
    Fledermaus says:

    look how nutty Bush is, he’ll do anything

    I meant that this is the image they are trying to convey to Iran as part of the bluff.

  6. 6
    p.lukasiak says:

    I beleive that Hersh’s reporting is accurate, but that there are too many sane people in the pentagon who will do whatever it takes to prevent this from happening….

    I just can’t believe that I’m capable of thinking that a military coup might not be such a bad idea at this point.

  7. 7
    Larry says:

    My god. Our only hope may be a military coup (it’s pretty clear from the nature of some of these leaks, and the recent relative sanity of most of our uniformed military, that the uniformed military is pretty horrified at this turn of events). Who would ever have thought that a good liberal Democrat would be praying for a military coup? But what other hope do we have? Hell, I’m pretty moderate politically – but it looks like the people who are closest to properly appreciating the insanity of these people may have been the (gulp) “looney” left.

  8. 8
    Larry says:

    LOL. I posted my comment before I even read p.lukasiak’s comment.

  9. 9
    KC says:

    You know, in reading Hersh’s piece, this is the first time I’ve actually felt a little scared about the people running our country. Scared because after the invasion of Iraq, etc., I just don’t feel that these people 1) even really game out the consequences of what they might do and 2) care to know or understand anything about the consequences. If what Hersh says is true, I can only hope the American people demand some truth and honesty from this bunch.

  10. 10
    Larry says:

    To be clear the “laugh” in the above comment is the cynical laughter of despair.

  11. 11
    KC says:

    For the record, I am absolutely, unequivocally against a military coup of any sort.

  12. 12
    RandyH says:

    Want some idea about how an unpopular president can gain support for a nuclear confrontation with Iran? Check out this column “Armageddon” from April 2 by John Steiberg (aka Blue Meme) at Raw Story. Some scary stuff and all very possible. Definitely worth the read…

    http://www.rawstory.com/news/2....._0402.html

  13. 13
    Larry says:

    KC,

    Honest question: which would be worse: a military coup, or a nuclear attack on Iran?

    For me the question is easy. I hope to god we have some patriots among our military who feel the same way.

  14. 14
    Tim F. says:

    look how nutty Bush is, he’ll do anything

    You can call that the Mel Gibson strategy, a la Lethal Weapon. Many of us figured that was what he was up to in Iraq, but – oops – it turned out that he was serious as a heart attack. Don’t make that bet unless you want to lose money.

  15. 15
    Rex says:

    It has been speculated that the first Horseman in Revelations was a false Christ.

  16. 16
    Fledermaus says:

    Don’t make that bet unless you want to lose money.

    You know, it’s a sign of the times where, in a bet between bluff and batshit insane, the smart money’s on batshit insane.

  17. 17
    ppGaz says:

    Tim, John … why worry?

    You’ve got Balloon-Juice to get you through the Iran war, and you’ve got Par R and Darrell to provide the expert commentary.

    John will vote a straight Republican ticket this year and help keep the GOP’s grip on Congress. At least, if his comments on the subject in the last year are any indication.

    You’ve got Tall Dave and Mac Buckets to provide the analysis of foreign affairs and defense. You’ve got Stormy for the soccer mom demo, and John’s niece, scs, for human interest.

    You’re all set. Relax and enjoy it. What’s another war or two when measured against the record of this government, anyway?

  18. 18
    VidaLoca says:

    Tim,

    Good post. I read a blurb on that article about an hour ago, but it didn’t have the link back to the New Yorker itself.
    I thought the same thing you did: “Oh shit.” Thought about your “color me shocked” quote too. What color does shocked look like? :)

    Military coup? Man I can’t even believe we’re having this conversation. You’d think that there would be pushback from the civilians in the House and Senate but that whole premise is just laughable. Anyhow Bush has basically been saying that he doesn’t have to respect the legislative branch if he feels an urge like he’s got to get his war on. So if you’re an officer you can:

    salute the little prick and say “yes sir bombs awayyyy…”

    resign your commission and watch someone else say “yes sir bombs awayyyy…”

    ???

  19. 19
    Tim F. says:

    Rather than a military coup I would envision something along the lines of a work slowdown, like commercial pilots do. Orders will suddenly take a long time filtering down the ranks and might get accidentally mangled along the way.

    If I was Rumsfeld I would hope that I hadn’t generated any potentially-incriminating documents that somebody might be tempted to leak.

  20. 20
    RandyH says:

    I doubt that there would be support within the military for a coup if the military had just been hit with a really heavy blow from Iran… Say the sinking of the fifth fleet in the persian gulf in one day (10,000+ dead sailors,) which Iran has the capability to do whenever they want – if Bush or Israel goads them into a fight by doing any bombing of any targets.

    Read the article I referenced above. Don’t be surprised if it’s not the route that these sociopaths running our government take.

  21. 21
    Perry Como says:

    At least Bush has a plan to start WW4. I don’t see the Democrats with any plan.

    But hey, you can vote Bush out in 2008 silly moonbats! Bush isn’t up for reelection so why should he care?

    You know, I might listen to some on the left if it wasn’t for the BDS. And Cynthia McKinney’s hair. And with people like Cindy Sheehan running the Democratic party, I’m going to have to remain a Republican.

  22. 22
    searp says:

    My hope is that there enough checks and balances remaining in the system so that this couldn’t happen even if the Prez wanted it to happen. I hope

    (1) It would require Congressional action, which wouldn’t happen
    (2) His own government would refuse the order.
    (3) The public would make its displeasure very clear.

    Having said that, if he is even thinking seriously along these lines, then he should be a commenter on Red State, not President. I always thought he was really dumb, conceited and provincial. Now I am convinced he thinks those qualities are virtues.

  23. 23
    ppGaz says:

    this is the first time I’ve actually felt a little scared

    A lot of folks have been saying that we have crazy, delusional and dishonest leadership …for years now.

    What the hell does it take to convince people? How much evidence to some people need?

  24. 24
    p.lukasiak says:

    John will vote a straight Republican ticket this year and help keep the GOP’s grip on Congress. At least, if his comments on the subject in the last year are any indication.

    and who can blame John for voting GOP. After all, imagine the damage that Cynthia McKinney could do as third ranking member on the special education subcommittee of the House Committee on Education! John is right to support an insane white male in charge of nukes rather than give someone like McKinney access to hundreds and thousands of US taxpayer dollars!

  25. 25
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    Military coup? Half those guys probably love this shit, and the other half will bury their heads in the sand like Colin Powell, out of some kind of soldier’s code, which makes them obligated to protect the integrity of the presidency, regardless of what the crazy fucker holding that position does.

  26. 26
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    At the risk of losing my liberal Brownie badge, I think that a CAREFULLY targeted, LIMITED use of a few small tactical nukes as part of the effort to knock out Iran’s nuclear capability might very well be morally justified — and that it would have been justified for Clinton to use it to prevent North Korea (and maybe even Pakistan) from getting the Bomb, if necessary. The consequences of a nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of untraceable terrorits capable of smuggling even a few warheads into cities would be unspeakable, and my money is on just this happening at some point with at least one of these three countries.

    But if ever I had to name a crew likely to disastrously bungle any such preventive war against Iran, the crew we’ve got now is it.

  27. 27
    ppGaz says:

    The use of nuclear weapons here would be madness. Not because they technically fit the mission to one extent or another. Because it sets a precedent that should not be set at this time. Every possible alternative should be explored and tried first.

    But the main reason for avoiding the use of nukes right now is well stated here:

    But if ever I had to name a crew likely to disastrously bungle any such preventive war against Iran, the crew we’ve got now is it.

    This gang of corrupt numbskulls, firing nuc-u-lar weapons?

    No. I promise you, we will march on Washington and bring it to a stop before we let that happen.

  28. 28
    Good-god he's insane says:

    “Speaking of President Bush, the House member said, ‘The most worrisome thing is that this guy has a messianic vision.'”

    Ya think? Bush has no qualms about pulling the trigger. It’s okay because he means well.

  29. 29
    Sirkowski says:

    Just for the heck of it, let’s have a poll on the feel over a coup d’état.

  30. 30
    Tim F. says:

    If we strike Iran with nuclear weapons, unprovoked, then they have every right to strike us with nuclear weapons. It’s a favor that we would gladly return if anybody did it to us. Striking Iran is shortbus stupid at the very least; to think about nuking Iran should be grounds for removing the feeding tube.

  31. 31
    tzs says:

    I guess the US will have to discover the hard way why it’s not good to let religious idiots into government.

    I trust and pray this is no more than waving around a crazy stick to try to get Iran to back off. Trouble is, we have enough religious kooks running around who think Armageddon is a Good Thing.

    *sigh*. I hate it when our government is run by eschatologists. I’d tell them to go read St. Augustine and what happened when the same sort of eschatology was used to proclaim the perpetual everlastingness of Imperial Rome…

    Boy, were THEY ever surprised.

  32. 32
    KCinDC says:

    the uncorruptable figure whose beatitude makes any action good just by virtue of them doing it

    Seems to go along nicely with the president whose position makes any action legal just by virtue of his doing it.

  33. 33
    Kyle says:

    Face it: there are 138 countries in the world. We are thinking about nuking three, maybe four, of them. . . . That’s less than the percentage of Detroit inner city youths who are murdered or arrested this year.

    So it’s still safer to be an enemy of the United States than to be an inner city youth in Detroit.

    DougJ — Your post makes this whole mess almost worthwhile.

  34. 34
    Sherard says:

    His growing messiah complex ?

    Tim, what you are doing to John’s blog ought to be against the law. But hey, he’s letting you, so I don’t know what to say.

    Your drivel is getting really old, though, that’s for sure. Pathetic, too, don’t forget pathetic.

  35. 35
    Purple Avenger says:

    Every possible alternative should be explored and tried first.

    Yep.

    *BUT* what if they all fail, the clock is winding down some years from now and Iran will be assembling viable nukes in a day or two…and you summarily removed the tac-nuke option?

    It would be nice to have a last ditch contingency plan on the shelf. This is what we pay pentagon planners good money to do — imagine absolute worst case scenarios and how to deal with’em.

    IMO, someone would be negligent to NOT have such a plan on the shelf just in case.

    If a nuke isn’t ever in one’s wildest dreams a viable option for some threat, then we might as well junk’em all right now. They have ZERO deterrent value if miscreants believe in their heart of hearts we don’t have the guts anymore to ever use one.

  36. 36
    Fran says:

    Fledermaus
    I would think that you have it right;
    1. ideal deception,
    2. except that this implies competence

    My guess is the triple round house:
    1. the Iraq war… never happened
    2. Katrina………never happened
    3. NSA spying……never happened

    We passed through the looking glass many many months ago. In this parallel universe many conservative republicans take on the mentality of corrupt spendthrifts, with an overimpulsive urge to legislate their religious views and to blindly support a boy king of dubious mental capacity.

    If it wasn’t so life threateningly serious, it would almost seem to be a Shakespearean tragedy.

    Vote for competence in 2006 and 2008.

  37. 37
    VidaLoca says:

    So, Sherard — you read the Hersh article, it’s all okey-dokey with you?

  38. 38

    Military coup? You mean like in 1963 in Dallas, the coup which put the Oil Party in power?

    +++

    Messianic complex? You mean like this guy? “I shall become the greatest man in history. I have to gain immortality even if the whole German nation perishes in the process.”

  39. 39
    jdw says:

    Bush’s Iraq war is a complete failure, as is the rest of his foreign policies. What makes you think we should trust this administration when it comes to Iran?

  40. 40

    Left to his own devices, this lunatic is going to get me killed. Not just me, of course, but boil it down to the essentials and see what sort of taste it leaves in your mouth. Overstraining the military, having a semi-open talk of war following a doctrine of pre-emptive strike that leaves rogue nations realizing that “not attacking the U.S.” doesn’t mean anything about not getting attacked themselves, and that the only way they can be safe is to be really scary and well stocked with nukes, and being worse diplomats than a petulant two-year-old on crystal meth? A giant policy formula for getting me killed. And probably you, too.

  41. 41
    John S. says:

    If a nuke isn’t ever in one’s wildest dreams a viable option for some threat, then we might as well junk’em all right now. They have ZERO deterrent value if miscreants believe in their heart of hearts we don’t have the guts anymore to ever use one.

    Someone has been watching Spies Like Us a little too much…

    When we commissioned the Shmeckdale Corporation to research our nuclear stockpile, they determined that a weapon unused is a useless weapon.

    It was a movie dude, not a referendum for an actual national policy.

  42. 42
    Christie S. says:

    First, do you buy these revelations?

    Oh, yes. This fucker truly believes he’s the second coming of Constantine and Rummy gets to play Roland in the next set of Great Crusades. You betcha I believe he’d like to wipe out Iran/Iraq, the lands formerly known as Persia. For what it’s worth, I believe Turkey needs to be holding it’s breath. NOTHING less than total annihilation of the Infidel in the Holy Land will ever satisfy this man.

    He’s batshit insane and somebody (Hey, Cheney…this is a hint) had better step into the breach and convince Bush that the Holy Roman Empire hasn’t truly existed as a political/economic/military force to be reckoned with in several hundred years.

  43. 43
    John S. says:

    Tim, what you are doing to John’s blog ought to be against the law.

    Yes, clearly there ought to be laws against criticizing the President for wanting to start a nuclear war…

    How about you volunteer to ride the first tactical nuke into Iran Dr. Strangelove style, eh Sherard?

  44. 44
    ppGaz says:

    They have ZERO deterrent value if miscreants believe in their heart of hearts we don’t have the guts anymore to ever use one.

    Well, the real danger is that Iran would be a vehicle for arming suicidal terrorists with nukes. But you put a stop to that with well timed and well aimed strikes at their capability. However, I don’t see that we’re at that tripwire point yet. Or close to it. I don’t panic quite as easily as the lying cocksuckers would like me to.

  45. 45
    StupidityRules says:

    A preemtive nuclear strike on Iran will really make the US win the hearts and minds of regular muslims. And unless the US can prove why a nuclear strike was necessary (and with the Iraq debacle etc it will be really hard…), I would guess there would be a major international boycott on US goods.

    Also if Nigeria decides to start their own nuclear program should they get nuked too? If South Africa decides to restart their program? Saudi Arabia? Spain?

    I’m as happy with Iran having nukes as I’m with George W Bush having access to the launch codes…

  46. 46

    Actually, Hersh has always had sources in the military and intelligence circles. Consider the My Lai scoop, the stuff he did on the Pentagon Papers, his recent stuff. Look at him as a mouthpiece for a certain segment of those guys.

    If you look at Bush and past Bushes, you see a certain other segment of the power structure. The whole reorganization of U.S. intelligence by this Bush, the weakening of the CIA in the intelligence hierarchy, it’s all part of a power struggle. Maybe military versus civilian with Bush, ironically, being the military. Or not.

    Or maybe they used to be in the same segment of the power structure but they’re not anymore. Maybe a segment of the Oil Party split off from the Bush segment. Or maybe this is the “liberal” branch of our intelligence unit, what the CIA was supposed to be back in the fifties.

  47. 47
    RonB says:

    His growing messiah complex ?

    Tim, what you are doing to John’s blog ought to be against the law.

    Sherard, the House member said it, not Tim.

  48. 48
    StupidityRules says:

    I also don’t think China, with large intrests in Iranian oil, is going to idly watch if the US uses nukes on Iran. Not that they would nuke the US, but they do have a nice economic weapon in the $260bn of US Treasury bonds they are holding.

  49. 49

    Iran has stated on multiple occasions that it desires nuclear weapons, and once it has acquired just two of them, they can be used to annihilate Israel with strikes in the center and north of the country. They will wipe Israelis and Palestinians alike off the map.

    Iran’s former moderate leader Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani has stated that Iran can absorb any Israeli counterstrike, and they view a world without Israel as a fair trade for the few million of their citizens that die as well. This is a comment from the leading Iranian moderate.

    In short, we’re talking the very serious possibility of ten million or more dead as a direct result of the initial strike and counterattack, and perhaps millions more as a result of the long term effects.

    -OR-

    We can use low-yield .3Kt B61-11 penetrators to destroy the hardened Iranian facilities at the cost of hundreds or thousands of lives. The .3Kt warhead of a B61-11 is (surprise, surprise) not all that different in yield than the 700 ton AMFO bomb we’re testing near Los Vegas next month. These warheads are the smallest nukes made, and detonating underground, the collateral damage and long-term radiation hazard is minimal… comparatively, at least.

    How are you folks at math? Tens of millions of dead and an entire region becomes uninhabitable, or thousands of Iranian soldiers, nuclear scientists, and civilians die. A really bad choice to be forced to make, but a choice we may be forced to make if all other options and scenarios fail.

    If all other options fail, the use of B61-11s may be our last best choice in a bad situation.

  50. 50
    Pooh says:

    I’d actually like to hear Ron’s thoughts on the matter, but I somehow don’t think he’s free to share them.

  51. 51
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    If you people were Christians you wouldn’t have to fear nuclear war. Rather you’d embrace it because you know that it is the way God’s people will ascend to the glories of Heaven.

    God has given George W. Bush a very special task, the fulfillment of all Biblical prophecy.

    That the evil hate and fear this great man is a fitting indication of where they will be spending eternity.

  52. 52
    ppGaz says:

    Paddy — YOU are GOP4me. I knew there was something familiar about that guy ….

  53. 53
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    “Cleansing fire, cleansing fire, save us now, save us now …”

  54. 54
    Ancient Purple says:

    I do believe that Hersh’s writing is credible and I do believe that Bush would have no qualms about using a nuclear weapon on Iran.

    As you said, Tim, Iran would then be justified in using one on us.

    I do know that the following will more than likely happen if we use a nuke of any kind on Iran:

    1. American interests, embassies and diplomats will be randomly attacked in other countries by Muslim extremists.

    2. Pakistan’s Musharaf will be assassinated and a military coup will make Pakistan a new Islamic republic which will ally itself with Iran and Syria.

    3. Jordan and Saudi Arabia will break diplomatic relations with us.

    4. Oil will hit over $100 a barrel.

    5. American citizens will be targets everywhere in the world and many will die.

    6. Our ports will be attacked by suicide bombers.

    7. 9/11 will look like a walk in the park.

    8. Bush will use all of this to declare his supreme power and will either suspend all civil rights or declare martial law.

    I am not sure who is more batshit crazy: Bush or those who will support him no matter what he does.

  55. 55
    g-rant says:

    Although I don’t believe the current political situation is sufficient for Bush to launch a war with Iran, as we learned recently the administration has no qualms with trying to goad an enemy into making the first move, just to justify war. I really fear Bush ignoring diplomacy and putting Iran into a no-win situation in which they make some sort of desperate attack, the people of the U.S. vow revenge (remember the Maine!), and all hell breaks loose as Ancient Purple describes. That’s what really worries me.

  56. 56

    Hersh: Bush Plans On War With Iran UsingTactic Nukes

    A new, troubling story in the New Yorker from investigative reporter Seymour Hersch — who has had a pretty good track record in recent years — says President George …

  57. 57
    Chris Johnson says:

    Iran might as well have ICBMs since they have anti-ship nukes (Sunburn missiles) that could obliterate the entire freaking US Navy, or any portion of it that actually chose to show up to fight. These are NOT SCUDS.

    The only hope seems to be for Iran to arm itself so heavily that it can demand and get detente like during the Cold War with Russia vs. the USA. Furthermore they have to be able to guarantee that the US is able to prevent Bush and his crowd from attacking them in SPITE of the certainty of losing. The fact that the US would lose against Iran (largely thanks to the loss of its navy) is no longer enough to be certain of a state of detente. Iran has to be certain the US’s Executive Branch can be controlled, either by popular furor (ha!) or by military coup.

    Unthinkable that we should have ended up in this insane position…

  58. 58
    George says:

    BDS is in full swing here I see. Pity, I used to enjoy this site. But just out of curiosity, do any of you have any suggestions on how to handle the prospect of a nuclear Iran? It’s actually a serious question, despite my starting this with a taunt. Um, and a military coup is not what most people consider a serious response, despite what some of you here may think.

    Feel free to pile on, I am on my way out anyway.

    Regards

  59. 59
    ppGaz says:

    Bush or those who will support him no matter what he does.

    That’s a very interesting question, actually. Who is the real evil in the case of bad leadership? The leader, or the led?

    Remember that Bush isn’t just WOT-crazy, or messianic-world-better-off-thanks-to-me crazy. He has signed up for the politics of Karl Rove, gaining power at the expense of the trust of half his own people. He has agreed to turn Americans against Americans in order to gain and keep power. They’ve done this in both subtle, and brazen, ways. “Defense of Marriage” is a code for the demonization of opposition, the subtle version. “Elect us or you’ll die” is the brazen version.

    Seeing this, and refusing to understand the profoundly un-American and un-Christian nature of it, and the blatant dishonesty of it, and steadfastly defending no matter what … that is evil.

  60. 60
    Zifnab says:

    Wow. Maybe they’re just not on, but Darrel, Stormy, and the rest of the wingnut crowd have been strangely silent on Bush using nukes. I guess Rove hasn’t released the talking points yet. Like “Iran deserved it” or “We have to drop the nukes over there so they don’t drop nukes over here.”

  61. 61
    Tim F. says:

    BDS is in full swing here I see.

    Bush Defense Syndrome, yep. You make two. Funny that neither respondent has bothered to answer two simple questions.

  62. 62
    Easyliving says:

    You silly bastards. Why not just worry about global warming? What’s wrong with complaining about the Supreme Court entirely rewriting the entire U.S. Constitution without any restraints on the Executive Branch? Why not focus on the military-industrial complex (thanks Ike) enriching beyond anything in comparible history theocratic imperialists willing to kill women and children to rule the world’s supply of oil? What about the Gitmo rape rooms and torture chambers? How about the takeover of all media by right wing autocrats?

    With all this to worry about, I don’t have time to plan the coup just yet. But I have a source in the Pentagon, a double verified source, who assues me that if Bush attempts to use force against Iran, he will be frog-marched outta the White House and live the rest of his life in prison for, among other things: genocide, other crimes against humanity, leaking of highly classified documents, Haliburton, Abramof, etc…

    The best course of action is inaction; make ’em get comfortable thinking no one is on to the Bush regime’s crimes. Then, once we get the House and Senage, we pounce. Once the American people know, through our outlets, exactly what The Administration has done, the Rethugricans are finished. Forever. Courage.

  63. 63
    George says:

    OK Tim,

    question 1: No, I dont buy it
    question 2: goodie! I get to answer a ridiculous “crusade” question! Nukes no, violent regime change, yes. Happy?

    Now, if you would please offer your plan to deal with a nuclear Iran, I could leave in peace. And please, leave our “messiah” Bush out of your answer. Thanks and good luck.

  64. 64
    Krista says:

    I wonder…is it possible for one country to start physically inching away from another?

    Christ on toast guys…nukes? Yes, Iran needs to be watched, and closely. What the U.S. should be doing is making nicey-nice with as many of its allies as possible, so that they can put combined pressure on Iran. But this cowboy shit with the talk of nukes. Well…if Iran didn’t have much of a nuclear program before, they’re sure as hell working round-the-clock to develop one now, kids.

    Bush has already proven that he’s more than happy to throw the first punch. Now, he’ll prove himself to be the “uniter” that he said he would be, by uniting the entire Middle East in alliance against the United States.

  65. 65
    Zifnab says:

    With all this to worry about, I don’t have time to plan the coup just yet. But I have a source in the Pentagon, a double verified source, who assues me that if Bush attempts to use force against Iran, he will be frog-marched outta the White House and live the rest of his life in prison for, among other things: genocide, other crimes against humanity, leaking of highly classified documents, Haliburton, Abramof, etc…

    Man. If only. More likely, he’ll give himself a medal.

  66. 66
    Zifnab says:

    And of course, its worth noting that when Iraq ‘might’ have nukes, we invade. When Iran threatens to develop nukes, we nuke them. But when North Korea HAS nukes, we mention them as little as humanly possible.

    It seems like the safest position to be in, if you’re rogue nation right now, is with a box full of tactical warheads ready for launch.

  67. 67
    George says:

    Rogue nations like NK have nukes. We do nothing. Potential rogue nations like Iran are working on it, we do nothing? Just like I thought, tons of BS, no solutions. Its easy as hell to monday morning QB. Enjoy your BDS, (Tim: derangement, but you knew that), sitting smugly on the sidelines never wins a fight. Be safe.

  68. 68
    Purple Avenger says:

    Someone has been watching Spies Like Us a little too much…

    I’m old enough that I did duck and cover drills in grade school in the early 60’s.

    Apparently you belong to the scrap’em all crowd. I don’t. The city busting MIRV’d mega-ton stuff I don’t have much use for, but smaller tac-nuke stuff is an option I’d like our enemies to believe we might use.

  69. 69
    g-rant says:

    george said,

    violent regime change, yes.

    Are you really comfortable with this? Because if you are, I’m concerned. Regime change in Iran will not work. Even though, unlike Iraq, Iran is predominately Shia, fairly cohesive, etc., they ARE fiercely nationalistic, proud of their religion and heritage, and still really pissed at us about that whole Shah-thing. Unlike Iraq, they will not likely fall into sectarian chaos, but become unified in their defense against us. The whole Middle East will hate us and anyone who tries to support us there will have to deal with fundamentalist uprisings.

  70. 70
    Krista says:

    Rogue nations like NK have nukes. We do nothing. Potential rogue nations like Iran are working on it, we do nothing?

    Potential rogue nations like Iran are working on it, you start a pre-emptive nuclear war. Suddenly an entire host of other nations are working on developing a nuclear arsenal. Congratulations, instead of working towards disarmament, the U.S. has inspired even more countries to arm themselves to the teeth with nuclear weaponry.

    And of course there are no “solutions”. Nothing is 100% guaranteed. We can’t say “Well, do x, and that’ll work perfectly.” We can say, “Well, try x, y and z, in cooperation with our allies, with whom we have worked very hard to repair our relations, in order to present a united front against this threat.” You know how war should be a last resort? Well, nuclear war should be the last, last, last, last, last, last, absolutely-no-other-choice, if-we-don’t-do-this-the-world-is-in-grave-danger resort.

    The U.S. keeps saying that they’re the “good” guys? A pre-emptive nuclear attack will change everything. You can keep trying to call yourselves the good guys, but the rest of the world will look at you, the way that you now look at Iran and at North Korea — as a dangerous rogue nation with nuclear capabilities. If you don’t care, fine. But don’t call yourselves the good guys anymore. The rest of the world will know differently.

  71. 71
    George says:

    g-rant,

    Thanks for responding, but I disagree. At any rate, I am still trying to get some viable answers on how to deal with a nuclear Iraq. Bashing Bush is easy, so I am asking for a serious viable option. You have told me the negatives of a policy. Now I am respectfully asking what you would do.

    Peace

  72. 72
    Krista says:

    Rogue nations like NK have nukes. We do nothing. Potential rogue nations like Iran are working on it, we do nothing?

    Potential rogue nations like Iran are working on it, you start a pre-emptive nuclear war. Suddenly an entire host of other nations are working on developing a nuclear arsenal. Congratulations, instead of working towards disarmament, the U.S. has inspired even more countries to arm themselves to the teeth with nuclear weaponry.

    And of course there are no “solutions”. Nothing is 100% guaranteed. We can’t say “Well, do x, and that’ll work perfectly.” We can say, “Well, try x, y and z, in cooperation with our allies, with whom we have worked very hard to repair our relations, in order to present a united front against this threat.” You know how war should be a last resort? Well, nuclear war should be the last, last, last, last, last, last, absolutely-no-other-choice, if-we-don’t-do-this-the-world-is-in-grave-danger resort.

    The U.S. keeps saying that they’re the “good” guys? A pre-emptive nuclear attack will change everything. You can keep trying to call yourselves the good guys, but the rest of the world will look at you, the way that you now look at Iran and at North Korea — as a dangerous rogue nation with nuclear capabilities. If you don’t care, fine. But don’t call yourselves the good guys anymore. The rest of the world will know differently.

  73. 73
    Krista says:

    Sorry. Crap. Tim, can you remove the duplicate?

  74. 74
    Good-god he's insane says:

    “In short, we’re talking . . . ten million or more dead . . . and perhaps millions more as a result of the long term effects.
    OR
    We can use . . .3Kt B61-11 penetrators . . . at the cost of hundreds or thousands of lives. . . the collateral damage and long-term radiation hazard is minimal… comparatively, at least.” Confederate Yankee

    Jimminy Crickits, do you weep when you say that or do you rub yourself?

  75. 75
    Good-god he's insane says:

    Re: the above – To be fair, Confederate Yankee teed off with: Iran has stated on multiple occasions that it desires nuclear weapons, and once it has acquired just two of them, they can be used to annihilate Israel with strikes in the center and north of the country. They will wipe Israelis and Palestinians alike off the map.

    Iran’s former moderate leader Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani has stated that Iran can absorb any Israeli counterstrike, and they view a world without Israel as a fair trade for the few million of their citizens that die as well. This is a comment from the leading Iranian moderate.

    In short, we’re talking . . . ”

    He’s of the opinion many, many, many, people are going to die in any event. It just struck me as glib.

  76. 76
    Fledermaus says:

    At any rate, I am still trying to get some viable answers on how to deal with a nuclear Iraq. Bashing Bush is easy, so I am asking for a serious viable option.

    Hey George, I don’t know. But then again I’m not the president of the United States. See it’s Bush’s job to come up with solutions to this. Furthermore, as we saw in the run up to the Iraq war Bush ain’t all that interested in other people’s opinions, no matter how experienced they are, if they differ from his own.

    But to be honest why in the hell do you think violent regime change is going to work out so much better this time around? Really because I see “violent regime change in Iran” and my reaction is have you been in a coma for the last 4 years? I could go down a huge litany of why it is even less likely to work in Iran, but if it isn’t self-evident to you there’s no way any arguements I might come up with are going to pursuade you.

    So, to answer your question. I would advocate diplomacy and carrots and sticks. However I really doubt this will work as this admistration has no interest whatsoever in diplomacy. Plus they have pretty much laid out our impotence out for the world to see right next door to Iran. And we have done such a good job alienating potential allies in the Middle East, or at least making it very politically risky for them to support us.

    Even if we do go in with strikes it seems unlikely that we will be able to delay it by more then a few years given the decentralized nature of Iran’s operations. In short, stop asking me for my plan to unshit the bed. Why don’t you look at who is really responsible for this predicament and ask him what his plan is other than nukes and invasion – I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that he doesn’t have one. Yes, believe it or not, being president is hard work.

  77. 77
  78. 78
    Ancient Purple says:

    question 1: No, I dont buy it

    Well, you have Hersh in the NYT.

    Now you have The Washington Post independently confirming that tactical nukes are in the potential mix.

    Who else do you need before you will buy it?

  79. 79
    Fledermaus says:

    Wait I’m not quite done yet.

    What I’m tring to say is that I am frustrated that the president who has spent the last 5 years deriding all oppostion in the face of screw-up after screw-up. And now when the chickens are coming home to roost he comes up with with plan that even you seem inclined to agree is totally infeasable. Meanwhile people expect me, with my miscule resources, to come up with a better idea.

    There is no one here who has the resouces exclusive to the president. There is only one person who has that, and his name is Bush. And with all those resouces all he has come up with is this bat shit-insane plan for an unprovoked nuclear attack on a sovereign nation.

    You can call it Bush Derangement Syndrome. I just call it expecting the president to do his damn job in a competant manner.

  80. 80
    Pb says:

    I expect them to downplay this by using their usual dismissive crazy talk… “all options are on the table”. Yeah, but they only *use* the crazy options. Anyhow, what I want to know is, with Judy Miller out, who are they going to be stovepiping the intel to, to catapult the propaganda, this time?

    And how crazy is it that we’re all talking about how a ‘military coup’ might be the only way to stop this insanity–apparently we’ve all dismissed the concept of Congressional oversight (impeachment and whatnot) out of hand. Not that I’m arguing, but that doesn’t make the situation any less crazy…

  81. 81

    I pray to God that not even Bush is this stupid.

  82. 82
    Ancient Purple says:

    Rogue nations like NK have nukes. We do nothing.

    Would you prefer we cross the DMZ or launch an air strike against Pyongyang? Be my guest. Then, you can explain to the rest of the world that we didn’t really need 10 million South Koreans in Seoul because by the time we did any significant damage to NK, they would have blown Seoul off the map.

  83. 83
    DougJ says:

    What will the Beinart/Friedman/Hiatt corner have to say about this? I guess nuking Iran will be a big step towards making the world flat, so Friedman should support it.

  84. 84
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    The REALLY hair-raising thing about Hersh’s story is that (if he knows what he’s talking about, which he often but not always does), Bush is considering using nukes not just as an emergency last-ditch tool in a few cases to destroy nuclear-weapon facilities that can’t be destroyed any other way, but as a way to force a CHANGE IN IRAN’S GOVERNMENT, which would presumably involve the use of a hell of a lot more nukes.

    That being said, a nuclear-armed Iran would be goddamn dangerous — and not because its government might attack Israel or the US. Rafsanjani’s blather on that subject is about as meaningful as Mao’s blather that China could easily survive a nuclear war with the US and would therefore not be too reluctant to get involved in one — that is, it’s ooga-booga stuff intended to try to Intimidate Iran’s Enemies, with the US and Israel at the head of the pack in this case. (In both cases, it’s the equivalent of Khrushchev’s long-running Wizard of Oz routine to try to convince the US that the USSR was far more militarily powerful than it actually was.) The Mullahs have a comfy niche for themselves right now as the heads of Iran; very few of them will be suicidally lunatic enough to get most of the country blown up and wreck that comfy niche. (Ahmadinejad might, but it’s unlikely that he’s more than their public-display puppet for the same purpose of Frightening the Enemy and Inspiring the Faithful.)

    But the real danger from a nuclear Iran is very great, and it’s the same danger as that for any nuclear-armed dictatorship:

    (1) The leaders of a tyranny, unlike those of a democracy, live in terror not just of external enemies but of a revolt by their own people, which would have a good chance of killing a lot of them off. (One Japanese political scientist says that the North Koreans he meets are obsessed with the fate of the Ceaucescus — and even if the highest-ranking tyrants in such a system have their emergency boltholes prepared, most of their underlings cannot.) Thus they have a tremendous temptation to do things that would be utterly in sane for any official in a democracy, but make perfect rational sense for them: namely, running risks with the Bomb to try to bring in the additional cash that they need to keep themselves maintained in power, such as using the Bomb to extort money from their neighbors — or, if worst comes to absolute worst, even selling it on the black market.

    (2) Such a regime is likely to collapse violently or at least chaotically, in which case its nuclear arsenal can easily fall into God knows whose untraceable hands. We were incredibly lucky in that respect with the Soviet Union. We won’t be so lucky very often.

    (3) Smuggled nukes represent a hazard far more hideous than missile-delivered ones. First, there’s a real chance that a nation attacked by one won’t be able to trace which of several countries it originally came from — which leaves it with the alternatives of not retaliating at all (thus leaving itself open to a second attack), or retaliating against every nation, guilty or innocent, that MIGHT have provided it, in which case of course the innocent nations will feel obligated to retaliate in turn. Second, there’s the classic terrorist strategy of “Kill one, frighten a thousand” — or in this case, “Kill a hundred thousand, frighten a hundred million.” Set off one nuke in one city, announce that you have several more plantd in other cities without saying which cities they are (perhaps setting off a second nuke to cement your case) — and then just sit back and watch the nation (or the entire civilization) collapse as tens of millions of terrified urban residents flood out into a countryside unprepared to support them.

    No; the fact that the shaky state of Pakistan and the indcreasingly desperate tyranny of North Korea already possess the Bomb is already horribly dangerous — and adding Iran, or any other dictatorship or shaky state to the list, is even more dangerous. It MUST be prevented, and extreme measures are justified to do so. But, to repeat, if I had to name a crew likely to pick exactly the wrong extreme measures, it’s this one.

  85. 85
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Postcript: I see that Tim F. hasn’t quoted the single most hair-raising passsage from Herhs’s story — but Andrew Sullivan does quote it:

    “One former defense official, who still deals with sensitive issues for the Bush Administration, told me that the military planning was premised on a belief that ‘a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.’ He added, ‘I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?'”

    Yep, they’re idiots.

  86. 86
    rachel says:

    Ancient Purple Says:
    Would you prefer we cross the DMZ or launch an air strike against Pyongyang? Be my guest. Then, you can explain to the rest of the world that we didn’t really need 10 million South Koreans in Seoul because by the time we did any significant damage to NK, they would have blown Seoul off the map.

    And since I live right here at ground zero in Seoul, I’d have to say the prospect doesn’t appeal to me. Hell, they don’t even need the nukes to wipe us out, they’ve had enough chemical and incendiary rounds targeted at us to do the job several times over for the last 50 or so years.

  87. 87
    Ancient Purple says:

    At any rate, I am still trying to get some viable answers on how to deal with a nuclear Iraq.

    Diplomacy.

    Of course, you will now try to tell me that we have been involved finding a diplomatic solution all along, and that, of course, would make you an idiot or a liar or a Bush sycophant.

    We have been doing sabre-rattling and my-way-or-the-highway talk and calling it diplomacy.

    But you aren’t interested in true diplomacy, so your question is rather moot since you won’t entertain any other notion than your own.

  88. 88
    g-rant says:

    military planning was premised on a belief that ‘a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.’ He added, ‘I was shocked when I heard it, and asked myself, ‘What are they smoking?’”

    Exactly. Anyone who thinks the Persians will rise up overthrow their Mullah’s because we drop bombs is not thinking clearly and should not be in a position of power.

  89. 89
    Pooh says:

    Apparently you belong to the scrap’em all crowd. I don’t. The city busting MIRV’d mega-ton stuff I don’t have much use for, but smaller tac-nuke stuff is an option I’d like our enemies to believe we might use.

    Here’s the problem, there may be a qualitative difference between Tac-Nukes and Strategic Nukes. The thing is, what percentage of the world population is aware of this difference, especially given the germ = gas = nuke standpoint which is US WMD policy?

    SO, it’s not that we used appropriate force which happened to be a small nuclear device (assuming accuracy, etc…) It’s to the rest of the world “America dropped the bomb. Again.” If anyone worries about our moral capital now…unless you just don’t care about that, which is even more worrisome.

    And then rational thought kicks out and I’m left with as hearfelt a “sweet jesus” as an agnostic-Jew can muster.

  90. 90
    Jon H says:

    Tim F wrote: “If you’re not worried about a nuclear-armed president with a messiah complex, a medieval concept of metaphysics and an insatiable war itch then you have to be kind of slow.”

    And, if the one you’re worried about is in Iran…. then you’re really slow.

  91. 91
    Richard Bottoms says:

    So if by some miracle we avert this bit of armageddon, removing Iran’s nuke capability without using nukes ourselves and plunging the world into a conflagration of staggering proportions, will we finally get an apology… scratch that, will we get the abject groveling we’re due from every dunce who voted for George W. Bush?

  92. 92
    CaseyL says:

    Richard, you’re joking, right?

    Maybe you missed Confederate Yankee and George stroking themselves at the thought of a nuclear strike on Iran.

    Wingers are unsalvageable loons. Thanatophiles, each and every one.

    I don’t want or need apologies or groveling from them. Permanent institutionalization sounds good, though. Esp. if it keeps them from ever voting again.

  93. 93
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to show everyone how a very bad blog reads. Not that it’s too left, or too right. It’s just bad.
    And, yes, I am the GSfRB in the comments.

  94. 94
    Pb says:

    Re: what they are thinking when they say things like: ‘a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government.’

    And when it doesn’t happen, well, you can blame the public for not rising up against the government (but rather against us instead), how nice. Remember, they tried that line as a premise for attacking Iraq too. And that’s all it is–a line, being used as a premise. I mean really, the choices here are (a) the neocons are the most incredible insane idiots ever when it comes to foreign policy, or (b) the neocons are the most disingenuous liars ever who will say anything no matter how insane it sounds to accomplish their goals.

    And from what I’ve seen, I’m going for (a) and (b).

  95. 95
    Matt says:

    At some point, we’re just going to have to accept the fact of a nuclear or CBW-equipped someone.

    The problem with Bush’s preemption strategy is that, long-term, it will fail, because it’s basically pitting our ability to deploy our conventional forces and topple entire governments one at a time against the collective ability of those governments to develop or purchase a well-established technology that’s already in the hands of unfriendly powers. We chew up our military postponing the inevitable, while making it abundantly clear that the only thing which will stop us–the only thing we’re scared of–is WMDs. And when some pissed off 3rd-world government gets ahold of them, the relative might of our already-diminished conventional military will be slashed.

    It really wouldn’t surprise me if Bush is seriously considering a preemptive nuclear strike, though, simply because it would cement our reputation as the big bad that’s willing to use such weapons, but in a scenario where we don’t have to worry about retaliation in kind. Sort of like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A nuclear exchange is game-over for both parties, but making a smoking example of a country that can’t (yet) fight back is considered sound strategy in some circles.

  96. 96
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    General “Buck” Turgidson: Mr. President, we are rapidly approaching a moment of truth both for ourselves as human beings and for the life of our nation. Now, truth is not always a pleasant thing. But it is necessary now to make a choice, to choose between two admittedly regrettable, but nevertheless *distinguishable*, postwar environments: one where you got twenty million people killed, and the other where you got a hundred and fifty million people killed.

    President Merkin Muffley: You’re talking about mass murder, General, not war!

    General “Buck” Turgidson: Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.

  97. 97
    Matt says:

    And when it doesn’t happen, well, you can blame the public for not rising up against the government (but rather against us instead), how nice.

    I actually heard that more than once during the lead-up to the Iraq war as justification for the collateral damage that would be done–you know, that the Iraqi people were ultimately complicit in Saddam’s rule because they had never overthrown him themself, so civilians might as well be valid targets (of course, everyone remained absolutely aghast at the possibility that US civilians, who actually have a significant say in their government, would ever be considered military targets–gosh no, that would be terrorism.)

  98. 98
    DougJ says:

    Maybe you missed Confederate Yankee and George stroking themselves at the thought of a nuclear strike on Iran.

    Technically, they were stroking each other.

  99. 99
    Tim F. says:

    Enjoy your BDS, (Tim: derangement, but you knew that)

    Bush Defense Syndrome – anytime somebody criticizes Bush people like George get so mad that they can’t answer with anything but silly acronyms. I find that people who jump to cutesy catchphrases as a first resort (moonbat, wingnut, BDS) either lack the wattage or the emotional control to meet the “other side” honestly. Not a healthy state of mind if you ask me.

  100. 100
    OCSteve says:

    First, do you buy these revelations?

    Yes – and I think it any administration would be terribly irresponsible if they were not seriously working on plans to attack Iran. We have a plan for just about any contingency. I imagine there is a plan on the shelf to attack Canada. “messiah complex, a medieval concept of metaphysics and an insatiable war itch then you have to be kind of slow” – No I don’t buy all that. (I’m kind of slow).

    Second, assume for now that the reporting is accurate and answer whether you’re comfortable to have your major policymakers set themselves on a “crusade” for violent regime change in Iran, most likely employing tactical nuclear weapons.

    Well, a lot of people’s main argument against attacking Iran is that an air attack would not be effective due to the stuff we need to hit being buried in deep bunkers etc. I guess the neocons listened to that argument and took it seriously – this is the most direct solution to that problem.

    With that said, of course I don’t agree with the offensive use of nukes. But if you don’t want to put boots on the ground, if you want to insure you can take out what you need to using only air, then obviously it is something you are going to consider. You consider every option. And if you want to put the fear of allah into a few mullahs, this is exactly the type of thing you leak. Think your crap is safe in those nice deep bunkers – think again.

    I see this as a PR ploy to make them believe that diplomacy is their only way out of this. Hey there Ahmadinejad – you think you are batshit crazy? Guess what – our guy is even more nuts than that and he already has nukes… You want to play end-time games? You want some nukes? No problem, special delivery coming up…

    So I think that a) it is an option you consider when planning an attack; b) you take it off the table early on, no one is serious about first use; c) it doesn’t hurt to let the other guy think you would use them if it helps put them in the right frame of mind to take negotiations seriously. Let the Euroweenies go back and say look dude, this Bush guy is absolutely bonkers and he is going to do whatever it takes, we can’t control him. You need to cut a deal…

  101. 101

    I think that this is a natural consequence of having George Bush as President. He was put forward as a scion of the old pro-Nazi Wall Street wing of the GOP. That should have pleased the Cheneys, because the only thing that this administration has been successful at is making the very wealthy very very wealthy.

    Bush is mentally damaged. He’s always been. This is the same sick little boy who stuck firecrackers up frogs’ butts. This is the Lips Bush from college whose sexual issues have left him a self-hater. He has united with the reactionary sexual self-hater fundamentalists. He’s been a failure at everything he’s done. Every business, every school. He can wipe the slate clean. He can be the hand of God. He talks with his Higher Father.

    This is not a personal attack. This is a diagnosis.

    +++

    Hersh’s article is a preemptive attack on Bush. People in power have leaked this story to him. It may be the first step in getting Bush out of office by other factions.

  102. 102
    Par R says:

    Sy Hersh has developed a pretty rotten track record for accuracy over the years. The following excerpts from a Washington Post article provides a more nuanced discussion of the issue:

    “The Bush administration is studying options for military strikes against Iran as part of a broader strategy of coercive diplomacy to pressure Tehran to abandon its alleged nuclear development program, according to U.S. officials and independent analysts.

    “No attack appears likely in the short term, and many specialists inside and outside the U.S. government harbor serious doubts about whether an armed response would be effective. But administration officials are preparing for it as a possible option and using the threat “to convince them this is more and more serious,” as a senior official put it.

    “According to current and former officials, Pentagon and CIA planners have been exploring possible targets, such as the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and the uranium conversion facility at Isfahan. Although a land invasion is not contemplated, military officers are weighing alternatives ranging from a limited airstrike aimed at key nuclear sites, to a more extensive bombing campaign designed to destroy an array of military and political targets.”

    (Break)

    “My sense is that any talk of a strike is the diplomatic gambit to keep pressure on others that if they don’t help solve the problem, we will have to,” said Kori Schake, who worked on Bush’s National Security Council staff and teaches at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

    “Others believe it is more than bluster. “The Bush team is looking at the viability of airstrikes simply because many think airstrikes are the only real option ahead,” said Kurt Campbell, a former Pentagon policy official.”

    Perhaps we would be better off following the advice of Duncan Black on Iran’s emerging nuclear capability: .

    “Certainly an Iran-with-nukes could blow the hell out of a city or two, but an Iran that did such a thing would pretty much cease to exist. It isn’t mutually assured destruction, it’s you fuck with us a little bit and YOU NO LONGER LIVE BITCHES!”

  103. 103
    kb says:

    “I see this as a PR ploy to make them believe that diplomacy is their only way out of this.”

    Except it doesn’t actually give any reason to stop.

    There are 3 outcomes for the iranians as far I see it,

    1) They stop any nuclear work as a result of this.

    Result – an end to their nukes. A climbdown and humilation for the iranian leadership.

    2) The USA uses these weapons and it does destroy the bunkers.

    Result – an end to to their nukes. Iran is percieved as the victim, the USA is widely reviled. Iranian leadership uses this as a reason to unite the population. Iraq gets worse etc.

    3) This is a bluff, and the Iranians call it.

    Humilation for the USA. Major victory for the Iranian Gov. Work on the nuclear tech continues.

    As far as i can see the rational option for the Iranian leadership is to simply ignore this and continue as they are .

    “Euroweenies”

    What’s the defintion of that ? A country who doesn’t invent spurious intelligence to launch an unprovoked attack on another country ?

  104. 104
    ppGaz says:

    With that said, of course I don’t agree with the offensive use of nukes. But if you don’t want to put boots on the ground, if you want to insure you can take out what you need to using only air, then obviously it is something you are going to consider. You consider every option. And if you want to put the fear of allah into a few mullahs, this is exactly the type of thing you leak. Think your crap is safe in those nice deep bunkers – think again.

    So far, so good.

    I see this as a PR ploy to make them believe that diplomacy is their only way out of this. Hey there Ahmadinejad – you think you are batshit crazy? Guess what – our guy is even more nuts than that and he already has nukes… You want to play end-time games? You want some nukes? No problem, special delivery coming up…

    The problem I have here is that the tactic is wrong. The way to scare the crazy ragheads is over a conference table. Not in the American press. You (generic you) can’t govern in a vacuum. The people in this country are pissed off, skeptical and not ready to sign up for this government — I am leaving off all the obvious adjectives — to be cranking up a new war with nuclear hardware.

    And it’s exactly this government’s attitude about this … that it knows best …. that prevents me from giving them that approval. It does not know best. I do. I’m the people. The people run this country. The people deserve better than another round of this:

    One final word on this: the issue here is not who was right and who was wrong, or even whether the overall weight of the evidence was sufficient to justify the war. It would have been perfectly reasonable for the White House to present all the evidence pro and con and then use that evidence to make the strongest possible case for war. But that’s not what they did. Instead, they suppressed any evidence that might have thrown doubt on their arguments, making it impossible for the public to evaluate what they were saying. In fact, by abusing the classification process to keep these dissents secret, they even made it impossible for senators who knew the truth to say anything about it in public.”

    That’s Drum, on Bush and Iraq. He’s right. This government went around the people by playing a shell game with information and intelligence.

    Now they want to get the keys to a shiny new war? No. Not gonna happen on my watch. Believe me when I tell you, we’re not gonna let that happen.

    Thoughts?

  105. 105
    ppGaz says:

    You no longer live bitches!” might not be the most intelligent thing to say to a people who have clearly demonstrated a willigness … an eagerness … to commit suicide in order to advance their cause.

    But radical muslims should not mistake the American willingness to argue with each other and change governments when we feel like it … for weakness. If crazy muslims fire nuclear weapons against their adversaries, I can be provoked into wiping Islam off the face of the fucking earth.

    My resistance to going nuclear early isn’t based on being genteel. It’s based on not wanting to have to end up at the latter option. It’s my opinion that the first party to use nuclear weapons in a scenario like this is making a big mistake, no matter who ends up “winning” in the long run. I have no doubt that the United States wins any ultimate military contest. That doesn’t mean that I am ready to provoke the ultimate military contest.

  106. 106
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Tim F: What makes BDS (or “Bush Defense Syndrome”) so appealing is that it brings into play the concept that some of those defending this president might be suffering from some sort of mental disorder. Something that is in no way dispelled by the kinds of observations posted here by the likes of Par R or GOP4Me.

    Just because somebody posts something on a blog does not mean it needs to be automatically taken seriously. Respect is something that needs to be earned. And when someone posts an opinion that is no way way deserving of that respect, ridicule is an appropirate response.

  107. 107
    OCSteve says:

    Now they want to get the keys to a shiny new war? No. Not gonna happen on my watch. Believe me when I tell you, we’re not gonna let that happen.

    I agree with you – I don’t think it is going to happen. The reason I think it is an intentional leak is that you simply don’t get military planners who are actually in the know talking out of school. Leaking secret attack plans would be tantamount to treason.

    I think this is simply to counter the meme that has been building that any air attacks would be futile due to the hardened bunkers. This is just a reminder, to Iran and to the world, that yes, in fact we do have the capability to take out those bunkers. There is a feasible option – don’t forget that.

    I think it is carrot and stick, and a reminder that we do in fact have a damned big stick.

    All the diplomacy and negotiations in the world can not be effective if the Iranians are convinced that they are militarily invulnerable. So far, they have simply used the process to stall for time while they proceed full steam ahead.

    Now if one or more of the joint chiefs resign in the coming weeks – then I’ll admit I’m damned worried.

  108. 108
    Andrew says:

    If any winger brings up the notion that attacking Iran will prevent proliferation, gently remind them that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of un- or under-secured nukes in Russia, along with hundreds of tons of unguarded nuclear material. The easiest way to get nukes is to buy them from a corrupt Russian general, and the Iranians have hundreds of millions in cash. The Iranians could potentially have a few bombs, prior to being able to produce them, and don’t be surprised if a American city gets vaporized or dozens of dirty bombs go off after a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s facilities.

  109. 109
    ppGaz says:

    OCS, think of the ramifications of your reasonableness. Who will we argue with? Darrell, and Par? I think you see my plight.

  110. 110

    […] Tim F over at Balloon Juice has a good post on this subject. In particular, I agree with the sentiment reflected in the exchange between one of the commenters on that post and Tim F.: I’m willing to entertain the notion that this is part of a grand bluff to Iran – look how nutty Bush is, he’ll do anything. […]

  111. 111
    OCSteve says:

    Who will we argue with? Darrell, and Par? I think you see my plight.

    Well, Tim will say I’m projecting again :)

  112. 112
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    I have yet to see one mention here that today is Iraq Liberation Day.

    How will you be celebrating? Attending you local Iraq Liberation Day parade? Hosting a barbeque in the backyard for friends and family? Attending church and offering prayers of thanks? Listening to speeches from prominent local politicians?

    Personally I’m thinking of washing my car.

  113. 113
    OCSteve says:

    But radical muslims should not mistake the American willingness to argue with each other and change governments when we feel like it … for weakness. If crazy muslims fire nuclear weapons against their adversaries, I can be provoked into wiping Islam off the face of the fucking earth.

    VDH said something on Friday that struck a nerve with me:

    Ever since September 11, the subtext of this war could be summed up as something like, “Suburban Jason, with his iPod, godlessness, and earring, loves to live too much to die, while Ali, raised as the 11th son of an impoverished but devout street-sweeper in Damascus, loves death too much to live.” The Iranians, like bin Laden, promulgate this mythical antithesis, which, like all caricatures, has elements of truth in it. But what the Iranians, like the al Qaedists, do not fully fathom, is that Jason, upon concluding that he would lose not only his iPod and earring, but his entire family and suburb as well, is capable of conjuring up things far more frightening than anything in the 8th-century brain of Mr. Ahmadinejad. Unfortunately, the barbarity of the nightmares at Antietam, Verdun, Dresden, and Hiroshima prove that well enough.
    So far the Iranian president has posed as someone 90-percent crazy and 10-percent sane, hoping we would fear his overt madness and delicately appeal to his small reservoirs of reason. But he should understand that if his Western enemies appear 90-percent children of the Enlightenment, they are still effused with vestigial traces of the emotional and unpredictable. And military history shows that the irrational 10 percent of the Western mind is a lot scarier than anything Islamic fanaticism has to offer.

    I think he is more right than I care to think about.

  114. 114
    OCSteve says:

    Take this:

    Detailed analysis of recent test firings of the Shahab-3 ballistic missile by military experts has concluded that Iran has been able to modify the nose cone to carry a basic nuclear bomb.

    And add in this:

    On Monday, Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported that part of Ukraine’s Soviet-era nuclear arsenal may well have found its way to Iran. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainians agreed to transfer the Soviet nuclear arsenal that remained in Ukraine after its independence to Russia. According to Novaya Gazeta, some 250 nuclear warheads never made it to Russia and are thought to have been sent to Iran instead.

    and I know I sleep better at night…

  115. 115
    KCinDC says:

    … its nuclear arsenal can easily fall into God knows whose untraceable hands. We were incredibly lucky in that respect with the Soviet Union.

    Bruce, as Andrew says, I don’t think we know yet whether we were lucky on that score. And the current administration has done nothing to buy the nuclear material or otherwise control loose nukes.

  116. 116

    All the diplomacy and negotiations in the world can not be effective if the Iranians are convinced that they are militarily invulnerable. So far, they have simply used the process to stall for time while they proceed full steam ahead.

    While I agree with you that this “leak” was probably intentional to rattle some sabres.

    I think you and your neocon buddies have misunderstood the lesson of Iraq for the Iranians.

    What we told Iran, is if the US thinks you have weapons you damn well better have them. So as long as we keep rattling sabres about this, all we are doing is convincing the Iranians to keep going down this path.

    Same with North Korea.

    you fucked up Iraq… this is the fallout. ;-(

  117. 117

    I am curious about the absolute lack of discussion in the MSM. Maybe the fix is already in.

    Paddy O’Shea, you might want to fill up your car too, before oil goes up to $100 a barrel next week.

  118. 118
    Common Sense says:

    I’m amazed at the reaction to a story concerning the deployment of nuclear weapons. If anyone would care to investigate further, a nuclear option is nearly always an “OPTION”, worst-case to any military conflict. It has to be considered, no matter how screwy or bad it sounds. In this case, I doubt the US will have to do anything except stay out of Israel’s way, the problem will be taken care of. On another note, say what you want about Bush but the boy has a set of “balls” which is more than can be said for Prez Clinton.

  119. 119
    Andrew says:

    And the current administration has done nothing to buy the nuclear material or otherwise control loose nukes.

    They have continued the minimal funding for things like the Nunn-Lugar programs, which have generally been half-assed and somewhat corrupt. Still, these programs were never a priority and only a few hundred million have been spent since the fall of the USSR. Compare this to the half-trillion that we have spent to get nonexistent WMDs in Iraq. The Bush Administration is completely unserious about preventing WMD proliferation.

    An interesting thing is how the media fixates on a single storyline and completely ignore the larger context. A bunch of lefty bloggers have been harping on this notion, and it really boils down to two things: there is no exciting media footage for securing radiological material, and it would actually require independent, difficult research and work.

  120. 120
    Northman says:

    A US attack on Iran seems somewhat inevitable. In theory, diplomacy could solve the issues over Iran’s nuclear program, but the Bush Administration has made it perfectly clear that they don’t want a diplomatic solution.

    Their attitude, seen by some of the Bush supporters here, is that Iran is merely using diplomacy to stall so they can get their nuclear weapons program further along. Basiclly, nothing the Iranians say or do will be trusted by the administration, and they continually denegrate the “Euroweenies” diplomatic efforts. The Iranians could agree to all kinds of safeguards, and the US will simply claim they still haven’t done enough to prove they don’t want nukes. Basically, the only solution that the Bush Administration is willing to consider is an American-friendly regime in Teheran.

    Military coup? I can hardly believe people are contemplating it. It’s unlikely to improve what’s left of your democracy, but it’s a good indication of just how scary this adminitration has become.

  121. 121
    capelza says:

    Batshit insane…

    “Consequences?…we don’t care about no stinking consequences”.

    Some contrary part of me almost wishes the fucker would do it, and let the fallout come. Is that what it will take to completely repudiate the neocon fantasy for the insanity it is?

  122. 122
    Tea Jay says:

    Now, here’s at least one plan for a Nuclear Iran. It’s the co-opt strategy where we offer to have them be the regional player, but get them on our terms. It’s an old piece, but I think is still a more creative solution as it recognizes the drive to get nukes.

    Our offer should be both simple and bold. I would send James Baker, our last good secretary of state, to Tehran as your special envoy with the following message: “We know you’re getting the bomb, and we know there isn’t much we can do about it right now unless we’re willing to go up-tempo right up the gut. But frankly, there’s other fish we want to fry, so here’s the deal: You can have the bomb, and we’ll take you off the Axis of Evil list, plus we’ll re-establish diplomatic ties and open up trade. But in exchange, not only will you bail us out on Iraq first and foremost by ending your support of the insurgency, you’ll also cut off your sponsorship of Hezbollah and other anti-Israeli terrorist groups, help us bully Syria out of Lebanon, finally recognize Israel, and join us in guaranteeing the deal on a permanent Palestinian state. You want to be recognized as the regional player of note. We’re prepared to do that. But that’s the price tag. Pay it now or get ready to rumble.”

    Read the rest here.
    Yes, it’s at Esquire, and yes, it rambles, but the sentiment is one that takes hyperventillation out of the prospect of nuclear-armed Iran. My take is that this approach had a short shelf-life, and now that’s passed. I’ve been curious since it was published what other people thought. Does this appeal to realists more than the military strike option? It seems that in the current discourse, there’s everyone’s agreed on stopping Iran at all costs, so I don’t know who’d back this now.

  123. 123
    zzyzx says:

    On another note, say what you want about Bush but the boy has a set of “balls” which is more than can be said for Prez Clinton.

    I don’t know about you, but I like it when people frame decisions about killing millions of people in the same manner as schoolyard taunts. Maybe we can nuke Tehran because you thought it looked funny.

  124. 124
    OCSteve says:

    Basiclly, nothing the Iranians say or do will be trusted by the administration

    Iran lost any credibility they may have had concerning negotiations when they refused the Russian offer to do the enrichment on Russian soil under Russian control. That offer gave them pretty much everything they wanted, except weapons grade enrichment.

    Every deal they appear to agree to is broken within days. I think it was IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei who said Iran has a “confidence deficit.”

    Can you link to some examples of the administration denigrating European/Russian diplomatic efforts? I thought they were pretty supportive of those efforts, but obviously disappointed at the lack of any real progress.

    And if Iran tomorrow said that it is open to a deal and opened up all facilities to the IAEA immediately – exactly how could Bush avoid a diplomatic solution?

  125. 125
    Broken says:

    On another note, say what you want about Bush but the boy has a set of “balls”

    Unfortunately, his balls are where his brains should be.

  126. 126
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    I think people need to step back and take a big picture look here. If we pull our troops out of Iraq, who steps in to fill the vacuum? Iran. Pro-Iranian Shi’ite Islamists won the elections there (Ali al Sistani was born in Iran), and where else will they have to turn to help them deal with the Sunni insurgency? There is really is nobody else. We leave, and Iranian troops will be in Iraq within weeks.

    Bush has to take on Iran because to do otherwise is to make our defeat in Iraq final. And the last thing Georgie wants to do is go down in history as the first American President to both start and lose a war. Something that will make that “Bush – worst president ever” meme something even little schoolchildren will know.

    Nuclear weapons were the rationale offered by the Bushies for going into Iraq. And now it would appear nuclear weapons will be the rationale for going to Iran.

    “We need to use nuclear weapons to prevent people from using nuclear weapons.” Put that in your Kool Aid, wingnuts.

  127. 127
    Tim F. says:

    OCSteve,

    If Iran already has nuclear weapons then the entire point of a preemptive tactical-nuke strike becomes completely moot. You need large, bombable facilities to manufacture a bomb from scratch; if you buy a functioning weapon on the black market all you need is a shed for the nuke and a dog to guard the shed. The missile is moot as well when it would be easy enough to smuggle a warhead through one of our ports and deliver the payload to DC or New York in a rental van. Iran has a terrorist infrastructure that is more than up to that sort of task.

    If that report is accurate the conversation becomes what sort of china to set for Iran at the nuclear-club table. In case anybody misunderstands I am fully on boad with doing whatever we can to keep them from reaching that point, however it seems to me that many folks have a very weak grasp on which options are realistically open to us.

  128. 128
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    So how are they celebrating Iraq Liberation Day in Baghdad? Fireworks in the shape of cars and roadside bombs it would appear.

    http://news.yahoo.com/fc/world/iraq

  129. 129
    OCSteve says:

    Kind of OT – but I’m sure many here will enjoy this read:

    Marine Lieut. General Greg Newbold (retired) has a blistering critiquein Time today on the lead up and conduct of the Iraq war. He’s calling for Rumy’s head.

  130. 130

    […] That certainly rattled the cages of the ‘reality based’ moonbat brigades. Of course the moonbats are so nutty to begin with that they won’t admit that Iran’s plan include using those nukes on us if they are allowed to get them. Liberals seem to fear someone armed with nuclear weapons only as long as that someone is our own president, they seem to cozy up to the idea that Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and the Mullahs of Iran armed with nukes are no problem at all. They are insane. Truly insane. Tags: Bush, Iran, Nukes, Seymour Hersch […]

  131. 131
    ppGaz says:

    Good work on this thread, OCS. Kudos. We don’t totally agree but it is refreshing to have an actual conversation with somebody one disagrees with, without having the “typical lefty Bush-hating …” versus the “wingnut lunatic ….” material.

  132. 132
    TTT says:

    I can’t believe there are so many of you who have enough faith in the intellectual power of the Bush Administration that you can think this is some sort of psyche-out or bluff.

    Please. Bush was gabbing about invading Iraq for, what, two years? And then you know what? HE DID IT. When it comes to destroying countries and killing people, George W. Bush always keeps his word. Once his mind is made up that people must die, people WILL die.

    He will drop a nuclear bomb on Iran, without provocation.

    And no U.S. city will ever be safe again. There will be a Hezbollah cell for every Starbucks.

    Since Bush’s personality cult base doesn’t live in large cities, they’re okay with that.

  133. 133
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Bullwinkle Blog? Ever notice that on the majority of these weird reactionary sites practically the only people commenting are the owners? Confederate Yankee, Right Wing Nuthouse, Bullwinkle Blog, these internet derelicts are for all intents and purposes talking to themselves.

    Talk about yer Ideological Onanism.

  134. 134
    Zifnab says:

    And if Iran tomorrow said that it is open to a deal and opened up all facilities to the IAEA immediately – exactly how could Bush avoid a diplomatic solution?

    He’ll do the same thing he did with Iraq. Repeatedly claim “It’s not enough”, “You failed to act in time”, and “I can’t hear you.” Saddam made numerous pleas in the final days running up to the invasion, promising to open up fully to UN inspectors. But by then the inspectors had left and the WH wasn’t listening, so in came the tanks and down fell Saddam.

    After Bush invaded a WMD disarmed, weakly defended, generally fractured nation like Iraq by shouting “pre-emptive strike”, do you seriously doubt his ability to invade Iran without provocation?

  135. 135
    OCSteve says:

    We don’t totally agree but it is refreshing to have an actual conversation with somebody one disagrees with

    Indeed it is. Too bad it is such an insane topic.

  136. 136
    OCSteve says:

    do you seriously doubt his ability to invade Iran without provocation?

    I don’t think invasion is even a consideration. But Iran is a completely different can of worms than Iraq was. He doesn’t have a decade’s worth of UN resolutions to point to; he is not going to get authorization from Congress under that scenario, etc.

  137. 137
    drindl says:

    It’s time to resurrect Country Joe and the Fish–
    “Ain’t no time to wonder why..
    whoopee! we’re all gonna die…”

    As a mother now, instead of a nihilistic teenager, I find the prospect less amusing.

  138. 138
    D. Mason says:

    he is not going to get authorization from Congress under that scenario, etc.

    You assume that he won’t simply assume the power to authorize it himself. That’s why their unlimited executive shit is so scary.

  139. 139
    DougJ says:

    On another note, say what you want about Bush but the boy has a set of “balls”

    Even Bush’s supporters see him as a “boy”. That’s very telling.

  140. 140
    CaseyL says:

    Paddy, that’s because they ban everyone else.

    I don’t think invasion is even a consideration.

    Probably true, but if true, just another indication of the Cloud Cuckoo Land that Bush inhabits.

    Bush, and the wingers, seem to think Iran will react to being bombed at all (much less nuked) by throwing out the mullahs and promising to be good from now on. Just like they thought Iraq would react to being invaded and occupied by throwing rose petals at US troops.

    Both rosy scenarios require a total ignorance of human pychology, nationalism, and the entire history of the region (including the Iran-Iraq war).

  141. 141
    VidaLoca says:

    OCSteve,

    And if Iran tomorrow said that it is open to a deal and opened up all facilities to the IAEA immediately – exactly how could Bush avoid a diplomatic solution?

    Well this would certainly be the prudent thing to do on the part of the Iranians. Whether they’d do it or not — who knows? As has been speculated above, they may feel like they’re staring down the barrel of a gun, with no guarantees that if they did back down, Bush and the govt. of Israel would do likewise. Domestic politics come into play too: can they afford to look weak and still stay in power?

    What we’re all sitting around praying for this afternoon is another Cuban missile crisis where the belligerents woof at each other for a few days while a face-saving compromise is worked out behind the scenes. In 1962 we were saved by balance-of-power politics coupled with leaders (in the US and USSR) who had the good judgement to be able to look over the brink and step back.

    Today, there is no such thing anymore as a balance of power. And we know too well that good judgement is nowhere to be found.

  142. 142
    Larry says:

    I pray to God that not even Bush is this stupid.

    But he is.
    And we are well & truly fucked.

  143. 143
    Pb says:

    The Other Steve,

    What we told Iran, is if the US thinks you have weapons you damn well better have them. So as long as we keep rattling sabres about this, all we are doing is convincing the Iranians to keep going down this path.

    Same with North Korea.

    you fucked up Iraq… this is the fallout. ;-(

    True, but really this started with the “Axis of Evil” speech, if not before–and we definitely fucked up with North Korea.

    OCSteve,

    I don’t think invasion is even a consideration. But Iran is a completely different can of worms than Iraq was. He doesn’t have a decade’s worth of UN resolutions to point to; he is not going to get authorization from Congress under that scenario, etc.

    That’s why he’s going to the UN now–to get a UN resolution so he can later say “look, Iran violated it!”. As for authorization from Congress, he could care less. Cheney would have gone to war with Iraq without authorization from Congress, and he would have done the same back in 1990.

    Q: The Congressional vote. Do you recall discussing with the President what he would have done if he’d lost the votes.

    Cheney: It was my view at the time [that] we were absolutely committed to getting Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait one way or the other, no matter what we had to do. We had to have the Saudis as allies in that venture, but if no-one else had been with us if it had just been the United States and Saudi Arabia, without the United Nations, without the authorisation of the Congress, we were prepared to go ahead. I argued in public session before the Congress that we did not need Congressional authorisation. That in fact we had the Truman precedent from the Korean crisis of 1950 that the Senate and all ratified the United Nations charter. By this time the UN Security Council had authorised the use of force back in November saying that we could do it by January 15th if he wasn’t out by then and that legally and from a constitutional stand point we had all the authority we needed.

    I was not enthusiastic about going to Congress to ask for an additional grant of authority. I was concerned that they might well vote NO and that would make life more difficult for us, or that even if they voted YES and then we had a disaster on our hands and it didn’t work they’d still be against us. The President to his great credit felt very strongly that he wanted the Congress on board and he felt we could get them on board and he was correct. We went to work on them and had that vote and in fact prevailed. I think having had the Congress vote ultimately was a major plus.

    Q: But if you’d lost the vote …?

    Cheney: If we’d lost the vote in Congress, I would certainly have recommended to the President we go forward anyway. Again, as I say, you don’t go back having deployed forces over there and decided it was of strategically vital interest. The worst thing you could do in terms of the situation in that part of the world once you’ve got 500,000 troops out there in the desert is you can’t leave them there indefinitely, you cannot sustain that kind of deployment over time. Then you’re in real trouble if you decide you’re gonna bring them home…

  144. 144

    “Common Sense,” how big were Hitler’s balls? Or Hirohito’s? Do you admire their balls? Do you dream of them at night?

    For your information, there are biological reasons for testicles. They are not ornaments to show to the other guys in the locker room. Rather, they are there to produce sperm. Clinton proved his worked with Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress, but so far Jeff Gannon hasn’t produced any soiled laundry, which may have something to do with why Bush needs to dress up like a flyboy and show off his ornamentals for guys like “Common Sense.”

  145. 145

    D. Mason, correctimento. Because we are in a war on terror, and the idea of Iran making a nuke is scary, why, let’s just bomb them. Bush has all the authority he needs, the voices in his head. The Higher Father he talks to who told him to invade Iraq.

    I keep saying that this guy is psychotic. He’s trying to destroy the things inside himself that he loathes. One would hope that there was some opposition within the military, the intelligence agencies, hell, within Congress.

    It would be interesting to see what Bush does when he attacks Iran, his popularity drops to 15%, and there’s rioting in the streets.

    How’s the Halliburton-Blackwater work on the camps coming along?

  146. 146
    OCSteve says:

    And we know too well that good judgement is nowhere to be found.

    Typically I would rally here, but after reading General Newbold’s article that I linked above I simply can’t.

    When the ex director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a Marine and from what I can tell a man of impeccable credentials and integrity feels the need to write what he has, I am certainly not going to argue.

    I don’t see this getting much play in the blogs right now, but I expect this to be a big story tomorrow and next week.

  147. 147
    VidaLoca says:

    OCSteve,

    And I didn’t word that well. You’re right; Newbold for example is doing all that he can. I meant good judgement at the top level — Bush, the Iranian leadership. The House, the Senate.

  148. 148
    OCSteve says:

    I meant good judgement at the top level—Bush, the Iranian leadership. The House, the Senate.

    Add in the pentagon brass. Christ, what a mess.

    FWIW – let me go on record as stating that if the administration and the brass try to smear this man I am done with them. Feel free to bookmark and throw back in my face as appropriate…

  149. 149
    Llelldorin says:

    I see this as a PR ploy to make them believe that diplomacy is their only way out of this. Hey there Ahmadinejad – you think you are batshit crazy? Guess what – our guy is even more nuts than that and he already has nukes… You want to play end-time games? You want some nukes? No problem, special delivery coming up…

    The reason I can’t buy this argument is that four years ago I was one of the ones making it, with respect to Iraq. I thought the prospective invasion was leverage to get inspectors back in, and was simply stunned when we went to war anyway, after Iraq capitulated.

    The other problem here is that the threat here simply destroys our diplomatic position with respect to everything. The main pro-American argument in the world today is that we’re a guarantor of stability–that is, that we can be trusted to contain potential threats, suppress high-seas piracy, and otherwise be a reasonably predictable superpower. Using, “…or we’ll start committing war crimes!” as a threat blows that all to hell.

  150. 150
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    I don’t see this getting much play in the blogs right now…

    Red State has something, with the post’s author askign the general lots of questions. The query I found to be ridiculous is:

    How would you have handled the al-Qaeda campaign post-Afghanistan differently? Specifically, as it seems that much of al-Qaeda’s leadership have melted into Pakistan, how would you have prosecuted the fight against them, in a manner that the Pakistani government could/would accept?

    Ludicrous, because it assumes that w/o the Pentagon’s fixation on Iraq we would’ve handled the Afghan campaign the same, and allowed the escape into Pakistan.

  151. 151

    I’m just getting back online after being sick for a couple of days, so I’m a little late to this issue.

    With regards to Bush’s obsession with Iran, I have a few questions for Wartime W. if he could ever answer them:

    1) How are we going to deal militarily with Iran when our military is vastly undermanned, losing officers to retirement, failing to make recruitment goals on a regular basis, and stretching through two existing war zones (Afghanistan and Iraq) to begin with? Where are we going to find the manpower to even consider going into Iran?

    2) How are we going to convince allies to assist us with Iran when we had enough problems convincing enough allies to join us in invading Iraq? When we had and still have problems keeping allies with us in the occupation of Iraq?

    3) How can the American people trust you regarding anything you say about Iran when nearly everything you said about Iraq (“They are a year away from nuclear weapons, they have weapons of mass destruction, we will be greeted as liberators, etc.”) all turned out to be at best inaccurate and at worst complete lies?

  152. 152
    Andrew says:

    Marine Lieut. General Greg Newbold (retired) has a blistering critiquein Time today on the lead up and conduct of the Iraq war. He’s calling for Rumy’s head.

    So… the “Rumsfeld is an idiot” list includes:
    Lt. Gen. Newbold
    Major General Paul Eaton
    General Anthony Zinni
    General Eric Shinseki

    Why do all of these former high ranking miltary officers hate America?

  153. 153
    ppGaz says:

    FWIW – let me go on record as stating that if the administration and the brass try to smear this man I am done with them. Feel free to bookmark and throw back in my face as appropriate…

    Fine, as long as you don’t vote Democratic.

    .

    .

    .

    Just kidding.

  154. 154
    rs says:

    One smart option for the Iranians would be to counter any attack by the US or Israel by upsetting the relative quiet in southern Iraq.

  155. 155
    capelza says:

    Have been thinking about this….so Bush is thinking about using nukes to prevent another country from getting nukes, because nukes are a bad thing, a dangerous thing and only the US should be allowed to ever use nukes because well…okay I’m lost, somewhere in North Korea I think, or maybe it’s the war room with Gen. Jack D. Ripper lighting my cigars.

  156. 156
    Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    maybe it’s the war room with Gen. Jack D. Ripper lighting my cigars.

    Just make sure you maintain the integrity (dramatic pause) of your precious bodily fluids!
    Someone should inquire into the White House’s stand on fluoridated water.

  157. 157
    Broken says:

    Cheney would have gone to war with Iraq without authorization from Congress, and he would have done the same back in 1990.

    Actually, Cheney was against going into Iraq at the time of the Gulf War. Only later in the 1990s did he change his mind. Those heart attacks in the 90s must have fried his brain.

  158. 158
    Krista says:

    only the US should be allowed to ever use nukes

    That seems to be pretty much the gist of US policy ever since nukes were developed.

  159. 159
    drindl says:

    It’s all so much a part of our doctrine of exceptionalism–that whatever the US does is okay because we’re like the beacon of freedom and liberty in the world, and everybody else is something less. There was some truth in that at some point,and a lot of Americans still consider it fact and you better not question it.

    But many other countries have kind of a problem with it.

  160. 160
    OCSteve says:

    Just kidding.

    But you bookmarked it no? :)

  161. 161
    OCSteve says:

    But you bookmarked it no?

    Just kidding too. I’m pretty much through with them anyway. I meant what I said about hoping the Dems win both houses this fall. Screw it – they can’t do much worse (one hopes).

    Pulling the big D lever though – hmmm. I live in MD and the Dems have had a lock here for years. So I would like to see a change here too.

    What to do. Give me a candidate….

  162. 162

    Just kidding too. I’m pretty much through with them anyway. I meant what I said about hoping the Dems win both houses this fall. Screw it – they can’t do much worse (one hopes).

    Pulling the big D lever though – hmmm. I live in MD and the Dems have had a lock here for years. So I would like to see a change here too.

    What to do. Give me a candidate….

    It’s a pity None of the Above doesn’t show up as an option on the ballot…

  163. 163
    Krista says:

    It’s all so much a part of our doctrine of exceptionalism—that whatever the US does is okay because we’re like the beacon of freedom and liberty in the world, and everybody else is something less.

    Exactly. And it makes it very frustrating because the U.S. policy seems to be to never, ever admit to having contributed to a given problem. Everything is always the other guy’s fault. But mention this quirk, and you get people saying that you hate America and that you’re trying to blame the U.S. for everything.

    The U.S. has done some very, very good things in the world, as have the other western nations. The U.S. has also done some very bad things in the world, (or some very short-sighted things that have led to major problems later on). So have the other western nations. America is a fantastic country, no doubt about that. But the “we can do no wrong” mindset only leads to a lot of problems later on, IMHO.

  164. 164
    ppGaz says:

    Maryland, eh? My sister and mother live in Takoma Park.

  165. 165
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    One of the most interesting aspects of Newbold’s piece is that, by gum, he repeats the “Chickenhawk” accusation made by so many of us pinkos that so infuriated the Right: “My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions–or bury the results.”

    I see, though, that he still insists on staying in Iraq unless and until “open civil war” breaks out. But civil war there seems to be growing gradually — at what point do we say it’s “open”? And what about the fact that the strongest argument about invading Iraq was always that we need our military, and specifically our ground troops, more ELSEWHERE — specifically, to try to prevent Iran from acquiring the Bomb, and to deal with the crises that may break out at any moment from the fact that North Korea and Pakistan already have it?

  166. 166
    OCSteve says:

    Maryland, eh? My sister and mother live in Takoma Park.

    Other side of the bay for me. DelMarVa – resort towns and chicken farms. I suspect the reddest part of the state. Good down to earth folks for the most part. Not too crazy about those politicians in Baltimore though. :)

    Ahhh, summertime. Nothing like a huge chicken farm on a 90 degree day…

  167. 167
    OCSteve says:

    It’s a pity None of the Above doesn’t show up as an option on the ballot…

    Really. ppGaz and I have discussed this before I believe, but what we need is a mechanism to turn out the entire government top to bottom in one fell swoop. I think we discussed an amendment that says if 2/3 of all voters say get the hell out of town you go.

  168. 168
    CaseyL says:

    Oddly enough, some of the Soviet bloc nations had the “None of the Above” option on their ballots, and if NOA “won,” the election had to be redone, with (IIRC) different candidates altogether.

    I’m not sure if that applied to all elections; and of course no one but Party-approved candidates got on in the first place. But it argues there was some difference between candidates, even if only on local issues.

    I remember thinking at the time how odd it was that the USSR offered its voters options that US voters didn’t have.

  169. 169
    DougJ says:

    This is off topic, but in all of the discussio of the Duke lacrosse team and the culture of lacrosse and so on (see the Slate article, for example), why has no one mentioned that Bush played lacrosse at Yale? If the shoe were on the other foot, the right woud be talking about it.

  170. 170
    Krista says:

    Nothing like a huge chicken farm on a 90 degree day…

    Blech…the summer I got my pilot’s license, the flight school was downwind from a chicken farm. Not enjoyable.

  171. 171
    Pooh says:

    OCSteve,

    between you and QandO (though the commenters over there scare me alot at times), I’m somewhat down off the ledge. An interesting point about the nuance of the sabre-rattling (‘it’s not that we want to do it but remember these bunker-busters’ is the subtextual message?) Thanks. (I find there are actually decent convos here occassionally if one learns which posts to ignore after the first line, don’t you?)

    BUT…there’s this nagging thing in the back of my mind about the number of “no way unless” moments the last few years have contained…and I’ve tended to be wrong on all of them.

  172. 172
    Par R says:

    DougJ said:

    “This is off topic, but in all of the discussio [sic] of the Duke lacrosse team and the culture of lacrosse and so on (see the Slate article, for example), why has no one mentioned that Bush played lacrosse at Yale? If the shoe were on the other foot, the right woud be talking about it.

    Come on now, Dougie, old man…there are a lot of things that don’t normally get talked about, whether on the left or the right. For example, it’s seldom mentioned that your mommy still has to put up detailed instructions and illustrations beside your toilet paper dispenser. But your sister let this slip out when she was pulled over for selling crystal meth out by her junior high school. Nobody holds any of this against you, not even good old understanding Mark Kilmer.

  173. 173
    DougJ says:

    You’re the best parody troll to come around in a while, Par R.

    For example, it’s seldom mentioned that your mommy still has to put up detailed instructions and illustrations beside your toilet paper dispenser.

    Is especially good. It sounds exactly like something Darrell might say.

    Someday I hope that you and I can do some work together over at Protein Wisdom.

  174. 174
    Par R says:

    What on earth is a Protein Wisdom?

  175. 175
  176. 176
    ppGaz says:

    It’s a show on the Food Channel.

  177. 177
    Par R says:

    ppGaz, since it appears that you may be a connoiseur of fine food, some of my associates will be in Phoenix the week after next and would be happy to take you out for dinner, at your favorite restaurant and at your convenience, of course.

  178. 178
    ppGaz says:

    At least you didn’t add “at your expense.”

  179. 179
    Zifnab says:

    If the shoe were on the other foot, the right would be talking about it.

    That’s just a symptom of the intensely liberal media that continues to plague our society to this very day.

  180. 180
    Perry Como says:

    What on earth is a Protein Wisdom?

    Bukkake Logic. There’s so much of it, something has to stick.

  181. 181

    War. Good God,y’all…

  182. 182

    […] At least ten bloggers focused on Iraq—how the administration generated support before the start of the war and what’s happened since: (1) The Moderate Voice (“All that’s missing . . . is administration officials predicting that Americans would be greeted as liberators and covered with garlands of flowers”), (2) Balloon Juice (“We’ve heard this song before, too many times to count”), (3) The Poor Man Institute (“Even the sheltered, death-dealing, incurious nutjobs responsible for spinning their oblivious worldview into the exsanguinating chaos that is Iraq must, just by virtue of being, on some proximal level, human beings, they must be able to understand that IT DIDN’T . . . WORK LAST TIME”), (4) Brilliant at Breakfast (“Isn’t this what he [Bush] thought about Iraq too? And we’re supposed to give him the chance to do it again?”), (5) Secular Blasphemy (“There are reasons to believe that if Iran is attacked . . . the war in Iraq will be immediately lost”), (6) No More Mr. Nice Blog (“Well, we shouldn’t be surprised at what Seymour Hersh is telling us . . . After all, in early 2003 we heard about the possible use of bunker-busting nukes in Iraq”), (7) The Green Knight (” . . . they [the Iranians] will spontaneously rise up and overthrow their own government. Where have I heard that strategy before?”), (8) Economist’s View (“The statement ‘a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government,’ is worrisome. We’ve heard these sentiments before.”), (9) Limbo (“. . . the Republican administration seems to be leading the United States down the very same road that it followed in launching attacks against Saddam Hussein three years ago”), and (10) Middle Earth Journal (“Keep in mind this crazy theory is brought to you by the very same mad men who said we would be greeted with flowers in Iraq”). […]

  183. 183
    JJ says:

    I have no doubt that they would at the very least drop the depleted uranium “bunker busters”, having no clue that this could reasonably be considered a first strike. These idiots are leading us to ww3, and Israel will be the next to be hit. They are dying to bomb Iran, for a variety of reasons, but mainly because they have deluded themselves into believing that it’s Iran’s fault that Iraq is in chaos, because of course nothing is ever their fault. Now that congress is on break, it is time to be vocal and let them know that they cannot afford to neglect their duty as they did in the run up to the Iraq war.

  184. 184
    HH says:

    The “pro-war” Woodward, LOL… Some better reading on Hersh’s credibility or lack thereof – http://www.redstate.com/story/2005/12/1/15259/8593

  185. 185
    ppGaz says:

    For the past two years, U.S. military leaders have been using Iraqi media and other outlets in Baghdad to publicize Zarqawi’s role in the insurgency. The documents explicitly list the “U.S. Home Audience” as one of the targets of a broader propaganda campaign.

    Some senior intelligence officers believe Zarqawi’s role may have been overemphasized by the propaganda campaign, which has included leaflets, radio and television broadcasts, Internet postings and at least one leak to an American journalist. Although Zarqawi and other foreign insurgents in Iraq have conducted deadly bombing attacks, they remain “a very small part of the actual numbers,” Col. Derek Harvey, who served as a military intelligence officer in Iraq and then was one of the top officers handling Iraq intelligence issues on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an Army meeting at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., last summer.

    In a transcript of the meeting, Harvey said, “Our own focus on Zarqawi has enlarged his caricature, if you will — made him more important than he really is, in some ways.”

    From MSNBC today.

    These people have been “marketing” this guy as a big scary demon in order to …. bamboozle the public, in both Iraq and the US ….

    Do these guys ever stop this shit?

  186. 186
    CaseyL says:

    HH, on the off chance that you want people here to take your arguments seriously, do not link to RS. RS is known hereabouts as a bunch of dim bulbs, serial plagiarists, dumbasses, racists, ignoramuses (ignorami?), and otherwise so consistenty shitheaded that any opinion, policy, or point of view espoused by RS is instantly delegitimized because RS has espoused it.

    Even the RW posters here want nothing to do with RS; it’s that embarrassingly bad.

    If the RS thingie you’re linking to is referencing an outside source, an actual news story about Hersch’s credibility, link directly to that.

    If the RS thingie you’re linking to is just someone’s opinion, then refer to the first paragraph, above.

  187. 187
    Veeshir says:

    RS is known hereabouts as a bunch of dim bulbs, serial plagiarists, dumbasses, racists, ignoramuses (ignorami?), and otherwise so consistenty shitheaded that any opinion, policy, or point of view espoused by RS is instantly delegitimized because RS has espoused it.

    I usually get initials wrong, but shouldn’t “RS” be “caBJ”? I mean, how do you get the initials “RS” out of the “commenters at Balloon Juice“?

    This has been one hysterical thread. I mean, getting your panties in a wad over something Seymour Hersh wrote? If he were a broken clock he would be stuck at 25:30.

  188. 188
    CaseyL says:

    Q.E.D.

  189. 189

    Bukkake Logic. There’s so much of it, something has to stick.

    You know, that’s pretty disgusting as a thought.

    But in considering protein wisdom, it is an accurate representation. It’s also kind of funny considering the sexual overtones of the whole protein wisdom name.

  190. 190
    Mickey Finn says:

    Our guy and Iran’s guy both get messages from God. That’s a receipe for disaster. Just saw that old hack Richard Perle on the Newshour singing a familiar tune from 2003.

  191. 191

    […] Balloon Juice You ve got Balloon-Juice to get you through the Iran war, and you ve got Par R and Darrell … Tim F over at Balloon Juice has a good post on this subject. … […]

  192. 192

    […] Never satisfied to fail by half measures, this latest news makes me wonder whether the Bush administration is the result of some gentlemans’ bet to drive America as deeply into the ground as possible without the use of nuclear weapons (then again…). Call it Hudsucker Proxy II: Potomac Boogaloo. […]

  193. 193

    […] When the next Shakespeare pens an Oedipus Rex or Richard III, his largest problem might be picking our president’s central, tragic flaw. Would he pick the epic lack of intellectual curiosity? It would be sorely tempting to pick the president’s overdeveloped messiah complex which blocks out the faintest hint of self-doubt. Merely separating phenomena (the oedipal masculinity gap between himself and poppy, and probably Barb as well) from epiphenomena (pathological fixation on knocking over Saddam) will take entire PhD theses. It might be easier to rewrite the rules of drama than pick a single pathology. Still, in a pinch I could easily choose something less likely than the problem highlighed the other day by one of the president’s erstwhile allies: […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] When the next Shakespeare pens an Oedipus Rex or Richard III, his largest problem might be picking our president’s central, tragic flaw. Would he pick the epic lack of intellectual curiosity? It would be sorely tempting to pick the president’s overdeveloped messiah complex which blocks out the faintest hint of self-doubt. Merely separating phenomena (the oedipal masculinity gap between himself and poppy, and probably Barb as well) from epiphenomena (pathological fixation on knocking over Saddam) will take entire PhD theses. It might be easier to rewrite the rules of drama than pick a single pathology. Still, in a pinch I could easily choose something less likely than the problem highlighed the other day by one of the president’s erstwhile allies: […]

  2. […] Never satisfied to fail by half measures, this latest news makes me wonder whether the Bush administration is the result of some gentlemans’ bet to drive America as deeply into the ground as possible without the use of nuclear weapons (then again…). Call it Hudsucker Proxy II: Potomac Boogaloo. […]

  3. […] Balloon Juice You ve got Balloon-Juice to get you through the Iran war, and you ve got Par R and Darrell … Tim F over at Balloon Juice has a good post on this subject. … […]

  4. […] At least ten bloggers focused on Iraq—how the administration generated support before the start of the war and what’s happened since: (1) The Moderate Voice (“All that’s missing . . . is administration officials predicting that Americans would be greeted as liberators and covered with garlands of flowers”), (2) Balloon Juice (“We’ve heard this song before, too many times to count”), (3) The Poor Man Institute (“Even the sheltered, death-dealing, incurious nutjobs responsible for spinning their oblivious worldview into the exsanguinating chaos that is Iraq must, just by virtue of being, on some proximal level, human beings, they must be able to understand that IT DIDN’T . . . WORK LAST TIME”), (4) Brilliant at Breakfast (“Isn’t this what he [Bush] thought about Iraq too? And we’re supposed to give him the chance to do it again?”), (5) Secular Blasphemy (“There are reasons to believe that if Iran is attacked . . . the war in Iraq will be immediately lost”), (6) No More Mr. Nice Blog (“Well, we shouldn’t be surprised at what Seymour Hersh is telling us . . . After all, in early 2003 we heard about the possible use of bunker-busting nukes in Iraq”), (7) The Green Knight (” . . . they [the Iranians] will spontaneously rise up and overthrow their own government. Where have I heard that strategy before?”), (8) Economist’s View (“The statement ‘a sustained bombing campaign in Iran will humiliate the religious leadership and lead the public to rise up and overthrow the government,’ is worrisome. We’ve heard these sentiments before.”), (9) Limbo (“. . . the Republican administration seems to be leading the United States down the very same road that it followed in launching attacks against Saddam Hussein three years ago”), and (10) Middle Earth Journal (“Keep in mind this crazy theory is brought to you by the very same mad men who said we would be greeted with flowers in Iraq”). […]

  5. […] That certainly rattled the cages of the ‘reality based’ moonbat brigades. Of course the moonbats are so nutty to begin with that they won’t admit that Iran’s plan include using those nukes on us if they are allowed to get them. Liberals seem to fear someone armed with nuclear weapons only as long as that someone is our own president, they seem to cozy up to the idea that Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and the Mullahs of Iran armed with nukes are no problem at all. They are insane. Truly insane. Tags: Bush, Iran, Nukes, Seymour Hersch […]

  6. […] Tim F over at Balloon Juice has a good post on this subject. In particular, I agree with the sentiment reflected in the exchange between one of the commenters on that post and Tim F.: I’m willing to entertain the notion that this is part of a grand bluff to Iran – look how nutty Bush is, he’ll do anything. […]

  7. Hersh: Bush Plans On War With Iran UsingTactic Nukes

    A new, troubling story in the New Yorker from investigative reporter Seymour Hersch — who has had a pretty good track record in recent years — says President George …

Comments are closed.